Legacy Leather debuts Collezione Divani

Joan Gunin, April 23, 2004

AT THE MARKET — Legacy Leather International has formed a new high-end contemporary spin-off, Collezione Divani.

Previously a collection within Legacy Leather, the three-year-old Collezione Divani line is officially a separate company.

"We found there to be a larger and larger appetite for the metropolitan and contemporary looks and the business got to be too big to run as a part of Legacy," said Guy Baur, president of Legacy Leather.

"Our biggest challenge now is for people to understand it is a different company, with a different factory, different production techniques, different price points, different customers and different people building it, but under the same ownership."

Legacy principals James Ward, vice president, and Giuliano Ianiciello, secretary/treasurer and designer, and Baur are the shareholders in the spinoff.

Baur said Collezione Divani's highly stylized output "far exceeds what it takes to build traditional leather furniture. The attention to detail is that much greater."

"You can't put both products (Collezione Divani and Legacy Leather) on the same (production) line," he said.

"A contemporary frame — with 48-inch cuts — and more expensive hides, requires pretty talented workers. It is much more labor intensive."

Both lines open at retail price points of $1,499, but Legacy's pricing ranges up to $2,999, while the contemporary assortment tops out at $3,695.

Unlike Legacy's eight-way hand-tied, coil spring cushioning system, Collezione Divani employs molded foam construction, heavier leathers and some microfiber covers. Twenty frames are new at market.

With some overlap, the sales force has been modified to allow for the two distinct companies, Baur said.

Production for Collezione Divani is housed separately in a 45,000-square-foot plant not far from Legacy Leather's headquarters in Concord, Ontario.

Legacy remains in its showroom at 224 E. Kivett Drive, while Collezione Divani is in the showroom building at 518 N. Hamilton St., formerly occupied by high-end leather producer Cibola.

L.& J.G. Stickley acquired Cibola's assets in February. The upholstery frames have been reborn this market as Craftsman Leather by Stickley, and are shown in Stickley's showroom at 225 N. Elm St.

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